The neurobiology of dissociation: Current findings and treatment approaches


Current research in neuroscience and the neurobiology of dissociation is discussed and its connection to a wide variety of traumatic stress syndromes and attachment related disorders. Dissociation is a normal and adaptive response to overwhelming experience. At the same time, dissociative symptoms interfere with mindfulness and the continuity of self. Moreover, information processing becomes compromised or shut down, thus barring the integration and resolution of the traumatic experience. Thus, dissociation interferes with effective psychotherapeutic intervention. Therefore, addressing dissociative symptoms is essential for positive treatment outcomes. A neurobiological model is described that guides therapeutic interventions and integrates diverse approaches that include not only EMDR, but also mindfulness, body therapy approaches, ego-state interventions, sensory integration, as well as neurobiologically based interventions. Participants will become familiar with interventions that reduce dissociative symptoms, as well as when and how to use them to maximize treatment effects.






Ulrich Lanius

Original Work Citation

Lanius, U. (2008, September). The neurobiology of dissociation: Current findings and treatment approaches. Presentation at the 13th EMDR International Association Conference, Phoenix, AZ



“The neurobiology of dissociation: Current findings and treatment approaches,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 27, 2020,

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